Available entirely online!

fold

Graduate Certificate Program in Plastics Materials

Build expertise in plastic materials to advance manufacturing efficiency and your career with UMass Lowell's four-course online Graduate Certificate in Plastics Materials.

Get Information:

Please see our Privacy Policy.
plastics student in lab

UMass Lowell's Online Graduate Certificate in Plastics Materials

With plastics materials growing increasingly complex, upskilling with our 100% online graduate certificate will give you and your organization an edge. This program is designed for individuals who have a Bachelor's in Engineering or science and want to gain a competitive advantage through advanced knowledge of plastics materials. All credits earned may be applied to UMass Lowell's Master of Science in Plastics Engineering. The Plastics Engineering Department at UMass Lowell is an internationally recognized leader in plastics education.

9 month calendar

Complete in 9 Months

hand and coin

One of the Most Affordable Tuitions in the Nation

Career Outlook

14,290
Jobs (2022)
+1.8%
% Change (2022-2023)
$152.4K/yr
Median Earnings
1,261
Annual Openings
Source: Lightcast (2023) Target Occupations in New England

Key Takeaways

  • Understand the evolution of polymeric material systems, commodity, engineering, biodegradable and high-performance thermoplastics
  • Gain knowledge of the relationships between polymer structure and practical properties
  • Evaluate typical additives that are used to modify plastics' properties
"UMass Lowell is among the nation's leading centers for plastics technology, and its Plastics Engineering program...is helping to push new boundaries of how these versatile materials are used, produced and processed."
— The Boston Globe

One Success Leads to Another

Apply credits from lower credentials to higher ones. Our programs are designed to build upon themselves:

UMass Lowell offers several graduate certificate programs that can be counted towards UMass Lowell's Master of Science in Plastics Engineering.

Curriculum Outline

- 4 Courses / 12 Credits

Course Descriptions

PLAS.5060 Polymer Structure Properties & Applications (3cr)

Relationships between polymer structure (chemical composition, molecular weight and flexibility, intermolecular order and bonding, supermolecular structure) and practical properties (processability, mechanical, acoustic, thermal, electrical, optical, and chemical) and applications.

Requirements:

26.202 pre-re or Grad Career.

PLAS.5120 Foams (3cr)

This course covers the fundamentals of polymer foaming, processing methods, recent technologies, foam characteristics, and applications. Fundamentals cover the cell nucleation and growth mechanisms in foaming and the role of thermodynamics and kinetics. Batch foaming, extrusion foaming, foam injection molding, and bead foaming are discussed as the common processing methods. The characteristics and performance of polymeric foams, process-structure-property relationships, and the relevant applications in various industries also are presented.

PLAS.5320 Adhesives and Adhesion (3cr)

Adhesive joining of engineering materials. Surface chemistry, theories of adhesion and cohesion, joint design, surface preparation, commercial adhesives, Rheology, equipment, testing, service life, and reliability.

PLAS.5330 Green Coatings Science and Technology I (3cr)

This course reviews the basic principles of design and formulation of water-borne, high-solids and powder resins used for the development of solvent-less "green" coatings and the use of bio-derived resins, mostly based on soybean oil and other renewable raw materials. The mechanisms and methods of curing and of polymerization for polymers used as coatings will also be covered. The basic principles of formulation of coatings will be introduced. Permission of instructor for Plastics Engineering Undergraduates seeking to take course as technical elective.

PLAS.5350 Rubber Technology (3cr)

Polymerization and compounding of the commercial elastomers. Properties and test methods.Leading applications and methods of processing.

PLAS.5440 Advanced Plastics Materials (3cr)

This course reviews the historical developments of polymeric material systems, commodity, engineering, biodegradable, and high performance thermoplastics. Topics include their synthesis, structure, properties, and applications and there is also an overview of typical additives that are used to modify the properties of plastics. Knowledge of general and/or organic chemistry is recommended as a prerequisite for this course. .

Requirements:

CSCE Graduate Restrictions

PLAS.5970 Plastics & Environment (3cr)

This course investigates the waste management solutions for different types of plastics. Both traditional and emerging recycling methods will be highlighted. Accumulation of plastic waste in the natural environment and the toxicology of plastics as well as their additives will be discussed, Further, analysis methods and instrumentation to characterize recycled plastics, and the differences in virgin polymers and recycled polymers will be introduced. Potential degradable, biodegradable or biobased alternatives will be reviewed along with the concepts of life cycle assessment and Green Chemistry for designing the most sustainable plastic materials.

Graduate Certificate Requirements

Students enrolled in graduate certificate programs through UMass Lowell must complete all courses indicated in the curriculum outline. Students may complete the certificate program at their own pace by registering for and successfully completing one or more courses each semester, depending upon his/her personal time constraints. Students are required to maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.000 with no more than one course grade below B to receive the certificate.

Online courses meet throughout the year during the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters (see Calendar for details). Online students generally log into their online course website one or more times per week to retrieve lectures and assignments or to participate in a chat session. Online students should expect to spend 6 to 10 hours per week engaged in course-related activities for each course. For more information on online courses, visit our online program home page .

Completing a Graduate Certificate Program

Graduate certificate courses must be completed within a five-year period with a minimum 3.000 grade point average and no more than one course with a grade below B. Once all courses for a graduate certificate have been completed, students must complete and submit the Graduate Certificate Clearance Form. Students must submit their clearance form to their coordinator. The coordinator will apply them in SIS, Graduation Tracking.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition at UMass Lowell is typically half the cost of private colleges, and our online tuition is among the lowest in the nation. Tuition for online programs offered through the Division of Graduate, Online & Professional Studies is the same whether you live in-state, out-of-state or outside of the U.S.

Spring 2024 Tuition

Cost Per Credit Cost Per 3-Credit Course*

Graduate

Online $585 $1,755
Online Business** $655 $1,965
Online IT and Engineering*** $600 $1,800
Online Education $470 $1,410
Online Education for Ed.D. and Ph.D. $500 $1,500
On Campus View Here View Here
*If the number of contact hours exceeds the number of credits, tuition is calculated by multiplying by the total number of contact hours.
***Applies to CHEN, CIVE, EECE, ENGN, MECH, PLAS and MSIT courses.

Additional Costs

Term Registration Fee $30
Late Fee $50
Graduate Engineering and Business Degrees and Certificate Applications $75

Please note: Tuition and fees are subject to change.

Tuition Calculator

Estimate the cost of this program with our online tuition calculator

Looking for Financial Assistance?

UMass Lowell offers a variety of financial aid and scholarship options.
Learn More »
hand and coin

Apply

For Graduate Certificate Programs, Please Submit:

  • An application
  • An application fee*
  • An official transcript indicating a completed bachelor's degree. If your bachelor's degree is from outside the United States, you may be required to take the TOEFL examination.
  • No Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required for graduate certificate programs

F1 student visas are not issued for this program. Applications can be completed and submitted at any time during the year. Your application will be processed as soon as all admission materials have been received. You may apply to more than one certificate program but can only take 12 credits maximum before enrolling in an advanced degree. Learn more about specific application requirements for your program of interest.

*There is a $75 application fee to apply to this graduate program.

Count Your Graduate Certificate Toward a Master's Degree

Credits earned from a graduate certificate may be used toward a related graduate degree.

Graduate Program Admissions Requirements

Admission to all graduate programs at UMass Lowell is contingent upon successful completion of a bachelor's degree. In many cases, applicants may register for a course before formally applying to the program; however, students requiring financial aid may want to wait until they have been formally accepted into the program to ensure that their course(s) will be covered. Contact UMass Lowell's Office of Graduate Admissions if you have questions about the application process.

Apply Now

Questions Regarding Your Graduate Application?

Email Graduate_Admissions@uml.edu or call 800-656-4723 (for U.S. students) or 978-934-2390 (for international students).

For General Assistance:

For general questions about registering for courses or to find out who the advisor is for your graduate program, call 800-480-3190. Our admissions and advising teams are here to help!

Already Applied?

Check the Status of Your Application

Take Your Career to New Levels with a Public, Nonprofit University and a Trusted Leader in Online Education

Apply Now Request Info